Dominic Raab Says he Would Shut Parliament if it Opposed Brexit

Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab, one of the candidates for the Conservative leadership, has said that he would shut down Parliament if it opposed his Brexit plans. The move was fiercely criticised by John Bercow, the current Speaker of the House of Commons, and Betty Boothroyd, the former Speaker of the House of Commons, as well as other senior Conservatives.

John Bercow, the current Speaker, rejected any move to prevent the House of Commons from stating its will on any Brexit deal saying:

“Parliament will not be evacuated from the centre stage of the decision-making process.”

Boothroyd said:

“I have a message for this ambitious young man: you don’t treat our Parliament, our democracy or our people that way. If you even try to impose your No Deal Brexit on us by cancelling Parliamentary proceedings, you won’t survive as Prime Minister for five minutes, you will be booted out of office and you are not worthy of your seat in Parliament which should be reserved for those who deserve the title of democrats.”

Other candidates criticised Raab’s plan, with Matt Hancock saying that it would “undermine parliamentary democracy and risk a general election” and Rory Stewart posted on Twitter:

“We live in a parliamentary democracy. You can try to lock the gates of parliament. But to do so for this purpose would be unlawful. This plan is unlawful, undemocratic, and unachievable. And the idea itself is profoundly offensive to our liberty constitution and traditions.”

Raab’s threat was also criticised by Amber Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary, who said that “I think it’s outrageous to consider proroguing Parliament. We are not Stuart kings.”

Mel Stride, the Leader of the House of Commons, also rejected Raab’s suggestion, saying that “I do think Her Majesty should be kept out of the politics of our Parliament.”

Party Leaders React to European Election Results

The main political party leaders have reacted to the European Election results in the UK, which showed strong performances by the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, the Brexit Party and the SNP. There were low shares of the vote for the Conservative and Labour parties, with the Labour party losing all of its seats in Scotland.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, posted on Twitter:

“A very disappointing night for @Conservatives. Some excellent MEPs have lost their seats, some excellent candidates missed out. But Labour have also suffered big losses. It shows the importance of finding a Brexit deal, and I sincerely hope these results focus minds in Parliament”

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, issued a statement:

“After three years of Tory failure to deliver a Brexit that works for the whole country, these elections became a proxy second referendum. With the Conservatives disintegrating and unable to govern, and parliament deadlocked, this issue will have to go back to the people, whether through a general election or a public vote. Labour will bring our divided country together so we can end austerity and tackle inequality.

Over the coming days we will have conversations across our party and movement, and reflect on these results on both sides of the Brexit divide. We will not let the continuing chaos in the Conservative Party push our country into a No Deal exit from the EU. Parliament can and will prevent such a damaging outcome for jobs and industry in the UK.”

Vince Cable, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats posted on Twitter:

“A clear, honest, unambiguous message has won @libdems our best ever European election result. We have shown ourselves as the strongest Remain force in British politics. Thank you to everyone who put their faith in us. We will stand up for you and keep campaigning to #StopBrexit.”

Nigel Farage, the Leader of the Brexit Party, posted on Twitter:

“Never before in British politics has a party just 6 weeks old won a national election. If Britain does not leave the EU on October 31st, these results will be repeated at a general election. History has been made. This is just the beginning.”

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP, posted on Twitter:

“Outstanding results so far tonight for @theSNP – on course for our best ever Euro election result. Polling way ahead of any other party. Higher % in Scotland than Brexit Party’s current share in rUK. Emphatically clear that Scotland doesn’t want Brexit”

Theresa May Resigns as Prime Minister

Theresa May, the Prime Minister since 2016, has confirmed that it is her intention to resign after failing to secure a deal on Brexit. She will resign as Prime Minister on 7 June 2019 and will continue until the next leader of the Conservative Party is elected by the party membership.

Andrea Leadsom Resigns From Cabinet Over Brexit

Andrea Leadsom

Andrea Leadsom has resigned from her Cabinet position as the Leader of the House of Commons, saying that she can no longer support the Government’s Brexit position.

In a letter to Theresa May, the Prime Minister, she wrote:

“I stayed in cabinet to shape and fight for Brexit. There have been some uncomfortable compromises along the way, but you have had my determined support and loyalty in your efforts to deliver Brexit as our shared goal. I no longer believe that our approach will deliver on the referendum result.”

Michael Heseltine Suspended from Conservative Party

Michael Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister, has been suspended from the Conservative Party following his comments that he intended to vote Liberal Democrat in this week’s European elections. A spokesperson for the Conservative Party said that the whip was being withdrawn because Heseltine was endorsing another political party.

Heseltine said in a statement to Sky News:

“They can take away the whip but they cannot take away my integrity, my convictions or my experience. I am a Conservative.”

Broadland Conservatives Field Candidate Who Says PM is “Worst Ever”

Broadland Conservatives have confirmed that they are fielding a candidate, Tony Adams, who said this week that Theresa May is the “worst ever Conservative Prime Minister”.

Standing for local elections, Adams added about the Prime Minister and Brexit:

“I think they’ve made a right hash of it, she said she was going to take us out on March 29 and she has not done it. It’s amazing how her popularity has plummeted, I’m not surprised. She’s absolutely lost it”.

Prime Minister Meets with German Chancellor

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has today met with Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, in Berlin to discuss a possible delay to Article 50. A one-year extension to Article 50 is currently being looked as the most likely outcome, although it is thought that numerous countries have opposed such a delay. The extension will also mean that elections to the European Parliament may need to be fought in the UK.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“The Prime Minister met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin this afternoon for a working lunch.

Ahead of EU Council tomorrow, the leaders discussed the UK’s request for an extension of Article 50 to June 30th with the option to bring this forward if a deal is ratified earlier.

The Prime Minister outlined the steps the government is taking to bring the Brexit process to a successful conclusion, and updated Chancellor Merkel on the ongoing discussions with the Opposition.

The leaders agreed on the importance of ensuring Britain’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union.

The leaders also discussed the ongoing situations in Yemen and Libya.”

MPs Vote in Favour of a Brexit Extension

MPs in the House of Commons today have voted with a majority of just one in favour of an extension to Brexit. The bill, which is still subject to Lords approval, was put forwards by Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP for Normanton, although it will also require the support of the European Commission.

The decision of the Commons will now mean that if Theresa May, the Prime Minister, is unable to secure agreement in the House next week for her Brexit deal then Parliament will require her to seek a longer extension to Article 50.

Nick Boles Quits Conservative Party

Nick Boles, the MP for Grantham and Stamford, has resigned the Conservative whip following the failure of the Government to support any of the Brexit options suggested by MPs. Boles had proposed the Common Market 2.0 option in an attempt to break the Brexit deadlock, but MPs voted against his plan.

Boles posted his decision on Twitter:

“I am resigning the Conservative whip with immediate effect. The Conservative Party has shown itself to be incapable of compromise so I will sit as an Independent Progressive Conservative.”

MPs Reject Government’s Brexit Deal for Third Time

MPs have today rejected the Government’s proposed Brexit deal for the third time, by a majority of 58. 34 Conservative MPs voted against the Government and only 5 Labour MPs voted in support of it, meaning that the country’s Brexit strategy is now unclear.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said:

“The implications of the House’s decision are grave. The legal default now is that the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on 12 April.In just 14 days’ time. This is not enough time to agree, legislate for and ratify a deal, and yet the House has been clear it will not permit leaving without a deal.”